Fidel's Fit to Run for Re-election
Forget retirement: Raul says big brother is good to go
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2007 8:20 AM CST
Cuba's acting President Raul Castro gestures during the closing ceremony of the IV Petrocaribe summit in Cienfuegos, Cuba, Friday, Dec. 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Fidel Castro is gaining weight, exercising regularly, has "full use of his mental faculties," and is running for re-election, says his brother Raúl. Raúl was stumping for Fidel yesterday in his electoral district of Santiago de Cuba, where he needs to be reelected to the National Assembly Jan. 20 in order to remain president, AP reports.

"He has recovered quite a lot of weight and muscular mass," Raul said, "for this all party delegates support him running again." Last week a letter from Fidel read on Cuban state television suggested for the first time since his illness that  he might retire; though he hasn't  made a public appearance in 16 months, he met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez last week, Reuters reports.